Social Media

on July 1, 2010

I’m moderating a workshop at Thrillerfest next week about social networking: Is Social Networking a Waste of Time?

My panelists include a prolific non-fiction author, a popular fiction author, a publicist, and two industry professionals and to say I’m a little intimidated to be leading such an esteemed panel is an understatement (and one of my favorite authors is on a panel opposite mine, Ted Dekker, a fabulous scary and talented thriller author with a Christian bent–I hesitate to lump him into Christian thrillers ala Frank Peretti, because it’s not really the same thing, but there is usually a spiritual undertone to his stories.)

Anyway, I was seriously considering dunking out and leaving the panel in the capable hands of pet expert Amy Shojai, who I adore, and figure since she can train animals surely she can keep a panel of industry professionals in line . . .

But then I was thinking, well, no one will show up because I’m giving a craftfest workshop called NO PLOTTERS ALLOWED. The funny thing is, I LOVE presenting this workshop because it’s both motivational and craftie–but at Thrillerfest? What WERE they thinking when I gave them the list of my workshops and they picked THAT one? Most thriller writers–particularly wannabe thriller writers–think you have to plot. No one is going to show up. Everyone will avoid me. And thus, avoid my social networking workshop.

Yet . . . I’ve committed, and in the vein of research, I’m asking YOU, dear MSW readers, to give me YOUR very biased opinion about social networking. Because honestly? It’s biased simply because you’re reading this blog! You are 1) on-line; 2) visiting an author blog; 3) likely commenting on said author blog. And because you’re visiting THIS blog, you likely visit OTHER blogs, and because you visit a multitude of blogs, you likely check out other media . . . Facebook, Twitter, MySpace . . . I know there are more, but I don’t “Link In” and honestly, I can’t maintain one more site.

I need to know, for my very unscientific research this week, some answers. And if you comment, I’ll enter you in a drawing for ANY of my books–your pick. THREE people will win a book, signed, of their choice. (I have seventeen if I include my anthologies.)


On average, how many blogs do you visit a week? How many relate to books/authors? Are you more likely to participate (comment) if there is a prize offered or if the subject matter of the blog moves you to comment? What do you like most about the blogs you visit? What has turned you away from blogs in the past?


Do you belong to more than one social networking site? (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) Do you get the same benefit from them, or different benefits from them? What do you like/dislike about the sites in general? (MY BIG PET PEEVE? FACEBOOK WON’T LET ME HAVE MORE THAN 5,000 FRIENDS.) Have you ever bought a book because you first “met” the author on-line — or heard about the book/author on-line and when you saw it at the store you picked it up? Have you found that you “like” an author MORE or LESS after getting to know their public face?


Do you think authors spend too much time “in public” (on-line)? If YES, why? If NO, what do you like about an author’s “public” face? Dislike? What do you like most about the authors you “know?” What do you like least? All things being equal, is there too much social networking, just enough, or not enough?

Would you rather have a rare “event” (i.e. live chat, message board, video interview) once a year/twice a year or regular access to your favorite authors?

Do you have anything else to share? Pros and cons, all comments are welcome!

NOW, how am I going to use this information? I don’t know 🙂 . . . but I hope to have a snapshot of what people active on-line think of social networking to incorporate into my questions for my panelists. I will report back and share what I’ve learned in two weeks!

Thank you for participating in this very informal survey! Have a wonderful Independence Day. I plan on watching my favorite Independence Day movie — the musical, 1776!

P.S. If you haven’t bought your copy of CARNAL SIN remember that it’s on sale now! 🙂